Stonington, ME

Rose & Andy, Stonington, ME — married 1947

Andy Gove has been catching lobsters off Stonington since he was a teenager, and is considered by many to be the best fisherman on the island.  His lobster boat, Uncle’s UFO, dominates the local racing scene and has won the diesel class for five years running (as the trophies that fill the Goves' living room attest).  Andy and Rose live in a house right on the water’s edge, with a beautiful view of the harbor and a large wharf where Andy can unload his catch and store his traps.  They have two daughters.


Andy:
When I was a kid, I know I was pretty particular—I didn’t want somebody I didn’t like to hang around with.  And I kinda got my eye on her, and when I made my mind up, I don’t change it very often.  We went together two years, and then got married.  Never, ever thought that I would change, I could do it again, if I was gonna start out all over, I wouldn’t even thinka doing any different.

I got to know her father.  I went fishing with him for a couple of years while I was going to school, you know, weekends and summers and days when we weren’t in school, so we could go out.

Rose:
Our first date was on my sixteenth birthday.  And I think we had gone to the movies.  Then we spent the evening with another couple, a beautiful moonlight night and he had a little—or maybe you borrowed a boat, I don’t know.

Andy:
No, I had my own boat.

Rose:
And we went over to the quarry.  Never had been over there before; of course, my father had worked there.  We weren’t there very long, but it was a nice time to take a nice moonlight boat ride, and that was our first date.  I was sixteen.

Andy:
I was borned right here in town.  But when I was two weeks old, they took me up on Eagle Island.  And I stayed there and went to that one-room schoolhouse until the Second World War and then they closed it.  And I had come over here to finish school.  I didn’t finish; what I went of it, I should say.  ‘Cause I went through the seventh and eighth grade, and then I started high school, but I got into sophomore year—grandfather wasn’t very well, and he had taken care of me, and my father and mother didn’t have much, and it was a big family; didn’t have anything, I shoulda said.  So I decided that what I needed to do, I didn’t need to learn algebra and geometry and all that stuff, I needed to learn how to catch lobsters.  So I went fishin’, I’ve been at it ever since.

It was a hard old scratch them days; there weren’t many lobsters, the price was poor, we had old boats, different type of gear, and it was quite a job to make a living, you know.  You done anything you could.  You caught lobsters, you caught crabs, you caught halibut, herring… anything that there was a few dollars in, well, you’d try it.  But lobsters was the main thing that I went for.  Lobsters and herring and halibut was my three favorites.


Andy:
I learned when I was wet to keep my mouth shut.  I think she did too, so we both done the same thing.

Rose:
Well, I learned that he was most always right, and I was always wrong.  But when I was right, I went cock-a-doodle-doo like a rooster, because it didn’t happen very often.

Andy:
It takes two to argue.

Rose:
Yeah.

Andy:
And if only one of you do the talking, you won’t get in any trouble.  When you both start talking, you better shut up.

Rose:
We never wanted to fight or argue that much.  I mean sometimes we may be…

Andy:
No, we never do.

Rose:
…disagreein’, but never yell and holler at each other, and throw things at each other, anything like that.

Andy:
Do now, ‘cause I can’t hear!


RF:
What did you want in a wife?  At that age?  What did you feel like you were looking for?

Andy:
Well, Gram and Grampa they always hung together; everything was—I liked that kinda life.  That was—

Rose:
Honesty, and faithfulness…

Andy:
I’d seen these other ones, you know, that had their problems and things.  Another thing, I was too busy.  When I started fishing, I had my mind on fishing.  I didn’t want somebody that weren’t gonna be home when I get there.  And I just—I was so busy fishing, trying to get started, that a wife to me was supposed to take care of the kids, and do the washings, and that’s what she done.  That’s what she planned on doing.

Rose:
The cooking.

Andy:
The cooking.  That meant more to me.  This getting another job, like they do today, and saying they’ve gotta have it—half of the time, they spend more money for babysitters and going out to eat than they would if they stayed to home and took care of their kids and brought ‘em up the way they should, and cooked ‘em something to eat.  You’d live better.  And I still say that.  And if I’ve got somebody that’s home, that’s taking care of the kids, I haven’t gotta worry about that.  And I haven’t gotta worry about getting something to eat, or where my wife is half the time; it give me a chance to tend to my business.  When I go out fishing, I never think about where she is or what she’s doing, ‘cause I know very well she’s… doing what she should be.

Rose:
I said I would never marry a man that drank too much.  I disliked liquor very much as a kid growing up, because my dad drank a lot; and ‘cause sometimes my parents got into squabbling a lot.  I guess that’s why, I didn’t want to squabble all my life, either.  I was looking for someone that I could depend upon, and who thought enough of me to take care of me and it’s just the way I felt.  And he was; he was a good, clean person and very, very hard worker.  He’s worked tremendously hard all his life.  That’s why I’ve got all the gray hairs, because he’d be out in bad weather that he shouldn’t even be out [in].  Now he tells all the young boys they’re crazy, and I’d say, “you forgot.  You used to be out in bad weather, too.”  (Andy laughs.) But he was honest, he wouldn’t steal, or anything like that.  I didn’t want a thief.  I wanted someone that was truthful; and it did, it worked out very fine.  And one thing I will say, Andrew and I, we never had anything as kids at home.  We had love, yes, our families loved us…

Andy:
Poor families, they were just as poor them days as they could be back when we come along, the early ‘30s, it was during depression.  They couldn’t help it, but there just weren’t nothing there.

Rose:
I started out with an old scrub board and a tub… and we didn’t have any electricity, or anything, even at home, we never had a radio or electricity as a kid growing up, ‘til later in life when my younger brothers and sisters—

Andy:
Ah, we used to cut our own wood.  Lug your water.

Rose:
Yep.  We used to do that too.

Andy:
And if you had something to eat, you had to go up and get it.  You didn’t go buy it.  Because you didn’t have any money to buy it with.

Rose:
I never expected that I would ever have what I have today.  And I appreciate it.  And I never ever expected to be driving an automobile.  I just didn’t expect any more, much more than what I had at home as a kid, actually.  And I thank my lucky stars and my wonderful husband; and he’s worked hard to give us a good home and he’s been a wonderful husband and he’s been a wonderful father.  You couldn’t ask for any better.  And I know both of us, especially Andrew, has turned his cheek, and so have I, of things that have come out that maybe people have done to us or anything, but we didn’t—I mean, we don’t wanna fight.  Even, some people fight over a little tiny piece of land.  We’d rather be friends than fight over a little tiny piece of land.  That doesn’t mean that much to me.  It’s friendship.  We have many, many friends.  They mean more to me than money.


Rose:
I’ll be truthful with you.  I do think it is more difficult today.  I think because they want all the things right off the bat, it takes two now to work in order to have the things that they have today.

Andy:
I think one thing she just said, they want it quick.  Kids today, they wanna start out, they look at you and say, “well, gorry, you got a nice house and a nice car… we want it.”  And they haven’t been married a week.  After twenty or thirty years, well, they can think about it.  That’s what we had to do, you know.

Rose:
Yeah, we went without many years to have what we have today.

Andy:
I say that if you want something bad enough, you should save the money to buy it with.  If you go in debt for it, you’re gonna pay for it twice before you get it.  And if you go without once, the next time you’ll have it.  ‘Cause they don’t teach the kids in school that when you got a dollar, and you spend ninety-nine cents, you only got a cent left.  And if you spend a dollar and one cent, you’re in the hole.  That’s what they should learn.


Rose:
The way I feel, the way society is today, I think that the young people jump into marriage too quickly sometimes.  I don’t think they’re lookin’ ahead, I think they just jump into it, even though they’re not compatible sometimes, or they don’t have the same likes and I think that has a lot to do with it.  I just don’t understand it today, myself.

Andy:
They got parents that’s got some money.  They’ve been brought up with all they needed to eat, a nice place to live.  We wasn’t brought up that way.

Rose:
That makes a difference.  That makes a difference.

Andy:
We had a poor place to live; as good as anybody probably at that time, especially my grandmother and my grandfather did.  But they were some old houses, it was pretty cold, and we worried at times about putting grub enough on the table to eat.  Well, you don’t want to keep on going that way.  You want to make something better for yourself.  And you’re not gonna get something better for yourself if you just jump in and out of something.  You gotta take the hard knocks, and… nothing runs smooth.  I don’t think anything… even today, I can tell you plenty of things that still are happening that aren’t running smooth, not the way I want ‘em to go.  But you just gotta brush ‘em aside, stick together and keep things going.

Rose:
I think the responsibility of a lot of things has gone out the window; that some people don’t want to take the responsibility.  And also, I think that Andrew and I never took any of our problems or anything to anybody else.  We always worked them out.

Andy:
We didn’t know where to go.

Rose:
Sometimes, you take your problems to other people, and these other people will—

Andy:
Make ‘em worse.

Rose:
—tell you to do this and do that, do this and do that.  And sometimes you might think, “well, maybe they’re right.”  We just tried to work our problems out together.  And togetherness, I think, has a lot to do today with us.  But with the younger people, I don’t think they try hard enough to negotiate with each other and stop to think what they’re fighting about, what the arguments are about, I mean they just take off.  Things don’t work right, they just slam the door and take off.

Andy:
I’ve seen some women, I couldn’t live with.  I know that.  I know that very quickly, I couldn’t live with ‘em.  They gotta—well, like Rose, be easier-going, and think more about their home and their family than they do doing anything they feel like.  And I think now that’s what a lot of them are doing, anything they feel like.  They never had to go without like we have.  People look at us, like, “oh, gorry, you’ve got everything.”  But they don’t know what we went without when we was young.  And everything we got, we earned it.  We never stole it; we earned it.  If we couldn’t afford it, we didn’t get it.  And the last few years, we’ve been better off than we ever was.  ‘Cause it’s paid off after a while, that, you know, we got a little coming in, and this Social Security is an awful good thing, I think.

Like the old saying, they said: “there’s times you think you’ll get rich, but you won’t; there’s times you think you’ll starve to death, but you won’t.”  In the olden days, that was exactly right.

Rose:
Here’s another thing.  Temptation.  There’s so much temptation in the world today.  There’s so many that just can’t seem to resist it.  And I was just thinking, too, about families with children.  If they would only think more of their children instead of going out and having a good time, and thinking of themselves.  They’re not stopping and thinking about what the effect is gonna be with their children; but I will also say this much.  A couple living together that’s fighting and battling all the time, and the love is gone, it isn’t good for the children to have to live in that kind of environment.  That’s my feeling, anyway.  So I think it does make a difference. I’m not saying that… there comes a time when they do have to separate for the best interest of their children, because they’re not going to grow up having a very good life if they have to go through all that.  But I just don’t think that people are trying hard enough, and they’re thinking more of themselves than they are their other partner and their children.  To me, I mean, I could never do anything to hurt my husband and my children.  I just couldn’t do it.  Not that I wanted to anyway, but I couldn’t do it.

I’ll be truthful with you.  I love being married.  I wouldn’t want to be one that was out dating here and there, and running ‘round.  I just love my home, I love my family, I love my children, my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  We have three great-granddaughters, and a grandson on the way next month.  So I live for that.  I live for my home, and my husband, and my children and my family.  I mean, that’s what marriage means to me.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I love my life.



Rose:
I’ll just have to tell you this little story.  We had a goose come to us.  And we had the goose about three and a half years.  And something happened to it, we went to this fisherman forum over here in Rockland, and when we got back, the goose had disappeared and we don’t know whether someone had shot it, or it just took off—but it had a mate, and something happened to the mate.  And they always said that they never got another mate.  If anything happened to one, the other would go on in life without mating with another goose.  Well, I got telling somebody, I said, “you know, the way society is today, maybe she’s taken off with another goose!”  I never did know what happened to her.

Andy:
She was so friendly, probably somebody ate her.

 

Close this Window